Photo London 2019

I’m a lucky woman and my other half is arguably playing a major role in this. In May, for instance, his job took him to London and I had the chance to tag along. There is always loads of photography related stuff going on there and it’s a wonderful city, especially when someone else pays the price of your stay. Also, his work trip coincided with Photo London.

While I strongly dislike this sort of pretentious, money-craving fairs, wherever they happen to be, I was sure to find a few satellite events that are worth a visit. In the end, however, I was asked to write about the happening itself for Fotóművészet and also scored a free VIP ticket, so I did participate. Not that my free ride makes my conscience clear; there are many issues with such festivals: their elitism, their occasionally questionable finances, and so on. (If you are interested in the latter one, do go for Lewis Bush‘s 8-minute-read on Disphotic.)

Thus, in spite of my usually overpowering moral compass, I freeloaded around and saw all of it. In about 6 hours, I passed through 100+ exhibitors and tried to absorb as much as humanly possible. At the end of the day, my super-saturated mind felt like a numb torso after Christmas. All in all, there is a lot of bullshit going on in the domain. When it comes to contemporary creations, most of them appear to be pointless to me, aiming for some sort of beauty–and nothing more. That being subjective and fleeting, I’m becoming more judgemental of the practice day by day. Photography’s commercialization is nothing new though, so I will keep my mouth and focus on the good stuff.

On the positive side, Photo London did their best to elevate women out of their banishment from the art world: about 40% of the exhibited artists were female.* Marina Black‘s dark and beautifully represented fine art prints definitely made an impression on me, just to mention one of the talents.

I have also become a fan of Tom Wood’s bubble-pricking skills masterfully depicting what it’s like to be a human.

Tom Wood, Between Birkenhead and Wallasey Liverpool © galerie Sit Down

And here come my absolute favourites, Aho & Soldan, naturally including the wonderful Claire Aho as well. Brilliant stuff from Finland–also those that do not include any shapely butt.

Aho & Soldan, 1930s


Claire Aho, 1961

* Their Master of Photography Award went to a man again, Stephen Shore, but one step at a time, I guess. (The one and only female awarded with this very award in its short history was Taryn Simon in 2017.)

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